Saturday 3 October 2020

Sickly at Sixty


I was thinking this morning...... I walked into a private hospital recently for checkup. While waiting to see the doctor, I observed two obviously retired men walk in. One with his son and the other his daughter. They seem very much in good health and probably in the hospital for something insidious. They sat by quietly while their children registered them and made all the arrangements. As I sat there, I couldn't but admire the benefits of having great children. It sure makes retirement wonderful.

But then, while there, I also observed other patients, some younger, come in looking fragile than the retired men and I wondered why. Why would some be fit as fiddle at 60 and others 'weak like dodo' at 40? As I mused, I recalled the message of Vice President Yemi Osinbajo in his speech at a church service held to commemorate Nigeria’s 60th Independence anniversary at the National Ecumenical Centre in Abuja last Sunday, where he insinuated that Nigeria is sick and ready to die except we focus and consistently pray.

Like some men, why is Nigeria sickly at sixty? Australia gained independence from UK in 1901 (119 years) and Canada in 1931 (89 years) and are still kicking strong, but Nigeria is just sixty and so sickly. Why? Could it be due to poor lifestyle choices or genetic? It seems Nigerians are poor managers of their national, corporate and personal health. Think about it. Apart from the nation being sickly at sixty, it seems businesses founded by Nigerians get sick and die before they turn sixty. I discovered that there is hardly any organisation or business empire founded by a Nigerian that has outlived its founders. Few exceptions being the Nigerian Tribune published in Ibadan and established in 1949 by Obafemi Awolowo and a few religious organisations like Redeemed Christian Church (1952). Hardly any other solely Nigeria Company is over 60 years old. They die before they turn 60. While companies like Concord Newspapers, Okada Airline, Igbinedion Motors and Crown Merchant Bank had gone under, many of the companies that colonisation built like UACN (since 1879), Unilever (since 1923), A.G Leventis (since 1937), Nigerian Breweries (since 1946), Berger Paints (since 1959) and Shell, formerly BP (since 1958) are still existing. Oh God, why is Nigeria so sickly at sixty?

Maybe it is genetic. Doctors say after age 60, the ability to hear high-frequency tones diminishes. Could it be why those in Aso rock seem deaf to our complaints? Nigerians have been whispering in low tones, shouting on top their voices that the country is sick, yet no response. Initially I thought they were thrusting their fingers in their ears, now I know better. The doctors also say that at 60, one might find it harder to see well in dim light. Hmm! No wonder our leaders cannot see that the security and economic situation is bad. Please God, why is Nigeria so sickly at sixty?

There are many lessons to learn from a sickly Nigeria at sixty. First, prepare for when you will be sixty and retired. Choose a healthy lifestyle and raise your children to take over from you. Shame your ignorance and go for periodic medicals. Above all, claim God's promise of long life in excellent health (Psalms 91:16). God will heal Nigeria and we shall live long to prosper in it.

Happy Sunday.

......Just the thoughts of a certain Wey Mey

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